Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Wisdom of Repugnance?


I think I'm watching too much mainstream news lately. How about you? Ever get the feeling that the world around you is driven by the "wisdom of repugnance"?

"The wisdom of repugnance expresses the belief or concept that an intuitive (or "deep-seated") negative response to some thing, idea or practice should be interpreted as evidence for the intrinsically harmful or evil character of that thing. Furthermore, it refers to the notion that wisdom may manifest itself in feelings of disgust towards anything which lacks "goodness" or wisdom, though these feelings may not be immediately explicable through reason. The controversial concept has been characterised as a "disgust-based morality" and is regarded by many as pseudoscientific and an example of the naturalistic fallacy." -


The article Human Dignity: the Revival of Disgust and Shame in the Law by Martha C. Nussbaum presents an interesting analysis of why we should resist the urge to entrench "disgust" as an emotion that drives our legal and moral codes.


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